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For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLS have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Hyundai Palisade doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.
The GLS’ pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Palisade doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the GLS. But it costs extra on the Palisade.
When descending a steep, off-road slope, the GLS’ standard Downhill Speed Regulation allows you to creep down safely. The Palisade doesn’t offer Downhill Speed Regulation.
Both the GLS and the Palisade have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors and available lane departure warning systems.
The Mercedes GLS weighs 1242 to 1574 pounds more than the Hyundai Palisade. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
The GLS 450’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid produces 71 more horsepower (362 vs. 291) and 107 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 262) than the Palisade’s 3.8 DOHC V6. The GLS 580’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 hybrid produces 192 more horsepower (483 vs. 291) and 254 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 262) than the Palisade’s 3.8 DOHC V6.
Regenerative brakes improve the GLS’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Palisade doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the GLS’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Palisade doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The GLS has 5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Palisade (23.8 vs. 18.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes GLS, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Palisade.
For better stopping power the GLS’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Palisade:
The GLS’ standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Palisade are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the GLS has larger tires than the Palisade (255/50R19 vs. 245/60R18).
The GLS’ tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Palisade’s standard 60 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLS has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Palisade. The GLS’ optional 23-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the Palisade.
The front and rear suspension of the GLS uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Palisade, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.
The GLS offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Hyundai doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Palisade.
The GLS has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Palisade’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The GLS has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Palisade doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
The GLS’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Palisade doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLS’ wheelbase is 9.2 inches longer than on the Palisade (123.4 inches vs. 114.2 inches).
For greater off-road capability the GLS has a 2.2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Palisade (10.1 vs. 7.9 inches), allowing the GLS to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The GLS Off-Road Package’s minimum ground clearance is 3.4 inches higher than on the Palisade (11.3 vs. 7.9 inches).
The GLS has .1 inches more rear headroom and 3.2 inches more third row legroom than the Palisade.
The GLS has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Palisade doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.
The GLS’ standard towing capacity is much higher than the Palisade’s (7700 vs. 5000 pounds).
The engine in the GLS is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Palisade. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Hyundai. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 52% lower rating, Hyundai is ranked 22nd.
Unlike the driver-only memory seat optional at extra cost in the Palisade (except SE), the GLS has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, suspension setting, power steering assist, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The GLS’ front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Palisade’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
The GLS’ rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Palisade SE/SEL’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the GLS has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Palisade doesn’t offer cornering lights. The GLS also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.
The GLS has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Palisade offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
The GLS has standard heated front and optional heated second and third row seats, which keep the driver and passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Hyundai doesn’t offer heated seats in the third row of the Palisade.
The GLS offers optional massaging front and second row seats, which keep the driver and middle row passengers. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Palisade.
The GLS has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Palisade SEL/Limited.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Mercedes GLS has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console and one for the rear passengers. Wireless charging costs extra on the Palisade and isn’t available on the Palisade SE.
The GLS’ Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Palisade doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Mercedes GLS outsold the Hyundai Palisade by 58% during the 2019 model year.
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